Mark Holyoake, Head of Sales & Distribution, Business Customer Segment, St George Bank
"At the outset, I considered that the consulting team would be successful in achieving my goals if they helped to provide an environment that would:
Free up my time to focus attention on strategic issues facing the business;
Develop a strong leadership team under me that enabled the day-to-day operational issues to be removed from my role;
Provide a structure that enabled rapid and uninhibited communication flows;
Encourage a healthy internal competitive spirit amongst the team;
Generate a significant improvement in key financial indicators within 6 months.
These goals were all achieved.
I have significantly less involvement in operational issues and the strong leadership team developed can adequately handle the majority of day-to-day issues. All of my team leaders went through the same programme at the same time and this has given me a sound understanding of their leadership abilities. In conjunction with the consultants, a new agenda structure for our regular meetings was developed that follows the practices we decison making and briefing we learned and this ensures that communication is relevant to our goals and priorities. Without any need to produce leader boards (or their equivalent) the internal competition is quite strong but not damaging and I regularly evidence conversations between team leaders about their relative positions.
The business results have been very strong.
In the six months following the workshops, our new business written more than doubled. Our assets grew by more than 31% in the same time.
Our cost to income ratio remained under 30% and our return on equity exceeded 36%.
At the time of writing, further 2 months figures have become available and the momentum is continuing. New business written has increased by a further 20% and asset growth remains on the same trajectory whilst the key ratios remain in check."
Janet Ramey – Director APAC Technical Services, Cisco
"I attended the LEAD programme (Leadership Effectiveness Assessment & Development) as part of a Cisco global high potential Leadership Development Course. And the first thing that struck me was the energy in the room as the participants got our instructions and our schedules for the day. First off was an outdoor exercise with a small team of folks. All leaders in our various groups, we struggled to organise ourselves. No one stepped forward as the leader, we didn’t think to assign roles, and we failed to consider the various properties of our materials.
By the 4th day of the course, however, the extended team was working well together, conquering much larger projects in a coordinated fashion and following the leadership practices we were exposed to. It was an amazing turnaround, and possible only through the intensive combination of classroom instruction and exercises to practice and embed the concepts.
This course made all the difference to me, as I was in the midst of a leadership transition myself, and the learning of this course helped me solve specific business problems and align my team as I was promoted to Senior Manager to lead the Web team. Not so long after that event, our group was reassigned to work with a new VP, and our mission changed. I enlisted the mission-focused decision-making methodology to pull the team together and reassess the mission, realign our deliverables. The outcome was very successful and with it came two industry awards for the quality of the website.
That led to my promotion to director, and soon after I was offered the opportunity to lead a larger operations team, the Technical Assistance Centres for Asia Pacific region. The decision-making method again helped me to communicate our goals, to organize our activities and align them to the regional and corporate direction for the company. We’ve again seen success, by improving our customer satisfaction scores significantly over the 18 month period, instilling a culture of technical excellence and achievement.
I’ve seen the teachings from the LEAD training work successfully for myself and several teams now; the method works to give structure to problem solving, and to reinforce alignment to the group and company’s mission. I recommend the LEAD training strongly — in fact, so strongly that I’ve instituted the programme as part of all my managers’ development.”
Kirby Grattan, Head of Leadership & Learning Design, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
"I have worked with Jeremy Tozer over the past 10 years and have found his thought leadership, drive to get business results, his integrity and professionalism first class. Jeremy’s style is very much a partnership and together we have faced some difficult global and regional business challenges and have successfully shifted the leadership legacy in the organizations where we have partnered.
Jeremy is very pragmatic and will test and challenge the thinking and assumptions (he asks the tough questions). This results in more project traction, in the application of new business leadership concepts and processes, and a greater shift towards a culture of leadership excellence. If Jeremy had not challenged and push the boundaries, our success would have been less.
Testament to Jeremy’s success is seen in consistent repeat business and Jeremy becoming a trusted advisor to several Senior Executives across the organizations where I have partnered with him. I have no hesitation in recommending Jeremy and would be more than happy to discuss the above and other experiences in more detail.”
Mawgan Wilkins, Director Global Products & Services, Cisco
"The mission-focused decision making process is probably the most valuable business lesson I have learnt in the last five years, it has significantly improved the performance of myself and my team by doing the thinking up front and implementing a course of action that needs little or no re-engineering and is easy to adapt if the situation changes. I can’t speak highly enough of the decision making process and I have used it on many other complex strategic problems to great effect. The speed at which the problems are solved and the quality of the output is fantastic! I highly recommend that every leader takes the opportunity to learn the process, use it every day for problems big and small, and experience the motivating effect of making the right decision every time.”
Janet Ramey, Director CA Technical Services, Cisco
"I’ve worked with Jeremy and his team in a variety of situations. First he facilitated and lead a corporate global high potential leaders 5 day leadership assessment and development program. This was challenging; it consists of a fast-paced day during which participants move through scenarios that assess problem solving and decision-making capabilities, impact and influence in a team situation, and abilities in coaching and customer situations. Detailed high impact feedback gives a real incentive to learn. Following the assessment, Jeremy conducted leadership and mission-focused decision making training to give a repeatable methodology for problem solving and planning, and development in coaching and feedback. This program was invaluable to me, and as a result, I asked Jeremy to facilitate the decision making and planning for an important project we were about to kick off.
Jeremy initiated a major customer technical support website project. The situation featured strong passions, pent up frustration, 60,000 web pages and diverse stakeholders who weren’t yet convinced they wanted to partner on this project. Jeremy led the team through clarifying 'the higher intent', 'desired effects' and distilling that into a common mission. Once that was established, Jeremy led us through assessment of the factors surrounding the mission, helped us make deductions and formulate possible courses of action. As a result, the team got clarity and buy-in on what we were trying to accomplish.
Seven calendar quarters later, an IT and business partnership is delivering around that. The completed site is integrating on schedule, on budget, and with extremely high spirits, commitment and teamwork. As an example, a recent team event witnessed extended cross-functional team working so well that no one was willing to accept the praise and instead kept deflecting it to other team members. The project has been nominated for a corporate teamwork award by one of the Executive Vice Presidents, and is heralded as the standard for cross-functional teamwork and organization. Without the clarity that we established at the very inception of this project, we could not have achieved these results.
Last summer, I faced another challenge where Jeremy proved invaluable. My team had been assigned to report to a new Vice President and as a result, over a period of 9 months, the team had lost its focus and core mission. With a clear need to rally the team and focus around our core mission of support delivery via the web, I called Jeremy. He led a small team to teach 18 key leaders the same decision making practice and then facilitate the detailed planning.
There were many difficult moments during the week, as emotions and frustration ran high, and Jeremy helped me work through those with the team by adjusting the scheduling and supporting me as the leader in situations where I needed to step in and address the situation. What I especially value and admire is the sense Jeremy has for when the team is getting off track. He doesn’t let the team go too far off course or down a rat hole; he’ll stop the process, reflect what he’s seeing, and redirect the efforts in such a way that the team stays on course. This is a rare skill. The results of this effort were a program structure around which the team rallied.
As a team, we’ve restructured and begun implementing measurement to ensure individual accountability to goals, and are practicing mission focused decision making at all levels of the organization. The team has become fully operational, which allows us to start diverting resources to new and emerging opportunities. We’ve been recognized as having the most well organized project/program management in the our extended organization, and are being asked to take on broader responsibilities.
Our Senior Vice President wants to divert more of his IT budget to support the team because he heralds us as producing measurable results that are proven to move the needle. The team is now primed to take on new responsibilities. The work Jeremy started with my team, and the methodology he introduced has really helped us get focused, and that’s led to our success.
I’ve recommended Jeremy within my company, and would gladly endorse him externally. He’s a true leader and a gifted trainer and facilitator.”